CARS.COM — The redesigned 2018 Toyota Camry is a radical rethinking of Toyota’s mid-size sedan and a risky departure from usually mild redesigns automakers give their popular vehicles. Not only is it Toyota’s best-selling model, but it was the best-selling car in 2016. With its redesign, the Camry trim levels have two distinctive looks. We checked out two of the four available trims – an XLE hybrid and the sporty XSE — at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Let’s check out what visually separates these two.
The most notable difference is the front grille. Of the LE, SE, XLE and XSE trims, the LE and XLE front bumpers showcase a massive grille with seven flowing horizontal slats that look like they could also produce a pretty smooth shave. Camry Hybrid models like the one on the show floor are identifiable by a blue-tinted Toyota badge. XSE and SE trims have far more aggressive front styling with an angular, split design and huge openings covered in black mesh.
Further boosting the sporty appearance of the XSE are various add-ons that work together to transform the Camry’s look. This XSE wears black 19-inch wheels with a few exposed silver spokes and tires sized 235/40R/19, while the XLE hybrid has silver 18-inch wheels with 235/45R/18 tires.
The XSE’s side profile is differentiated by more sculpted rocker panels.
The XSE also adds a subtle lip spoiler that takes the integrated lip spoiler of the regular Camry and adds an extension for more visual weight at the car’s rear.
I firmly believe the Camry XSE could be mistaken for a luxury performance sedan if you took the badging off the trunk. Distinctive taillights are darkened on the XSE trims and faux vents, which are a little tacky, run down the side. Rear styling is capped off by four tailpipes and a unique lower rear diffuser.
Toyota designers wanted the SE and XSE variants to stand out from 200 yards away. On the auto-show floor, at least, they’re styled uniquely enough that there’s certainly no mistaking one for the other.